Things You'll Need
Stumps, the leftover stubs of felled trees, can get in the way, trip people walking by and are, generally, an eyesore. Ripping stumps out of the ground with an automatic machine will cost a lot of money in extra rentals and equipment. A chainsaw, however, can grind up a stump and leave it all but gone; still, you can't use a chainsaw to completely grind away a stump. After much of the stump is gone, however, dirt and other material can cover the stump so it won't be noticed.
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Check the chainsaw chain for tightness and sharpness according to your model's bar and chain specifications. Sharpen or tighten the chain as needed for normal operation. Put on all of your safety equipment. Start the engine on your chainsaw and give it a few minutes to warm up.
Hold the chainsaw flat, with the starter side up. Bend over and place the bottom side and heel of the bar on the stump. Cut the stump as close to the ground as possible, without hitting your chain against the dirt or ground. Throttle the trigger fully and cut into the stump.
Work around the stump, with the bottom and heel of the bar, like a can opener, gradually circling the entire stump. Pull the chainsaw away and take the cut piece off the top of the stump.
Cut the flat section of the stump in a crosscut pattern. Starting on one side of the stump, throttle the saw and make vertical cuts, one to two inches deep, along the length of the stump. Separate the lines by about a half to a full inch.
Step to the right or left of the stump and cut the same pattern perpendicular to the first set of lines. When done properly, the stump should take on the appearance of a grid. This will help water erode what remains of the stump more quickly.
Chop away the remaining pieces of the stump if you wish to grind the stump down even further. Repeat the grid pattern with the chainsaw if necessary. Rub dirt into the wood after you're finished grinding it down.
Cutting with the tip in this manner increases the potential for kickback, the violent backward thrust of a running chain, so proceed with care.
Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at GoNomad.com and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.